Heifetz and Brown

Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize what is personally valuable to you. The most valued, encourages emotional sensations that stimulate your sympathetic nervous system deep into your heart. The separation between head and heart physically connects us through sensations in the chest, shoulders and neck. Almost with out hesitation and seemingly outside of our control, we try to listen to our heart and we physically pull the two closer. Our shrugging shoulders serve to humble our, what Heifetz describes as, “authoritative knowledge—a shell for defensive arrogance” to our innate ability to thrive in naivety.

I would find a conversation between Heifetz and Brown to be riveting the least. Heifetz speaks to the heart of us and asks for transparency by allowing your metaphoric heart to rest open and literally be expressed throughout our senses. Heifetz describes this as the emotional intelligence that communicates across the human environment more openly when we release it from the technicalities of our authoritative knowledge. With Heifetz laying the norms down for enthusiastic listening and creative discussion I feel the journal would be open to record what each one of us values regardless of the technicalities. Brown describes the historical technicalities over time which threaten the value we place on our existence. He mentions several examples to which our destructive behaviors are setting us up for failure. Exponential population growth, desertification, famine, unthoughtful greed, and the blind truth to the sustainability of the status quo. Brown quotes “The bottom line is that harvest-expanding scientific advances are ever more difficult to come by as crop yields move closer to the inherent limits of photosynthetic efficiency. This limit in turn establishes the upper bounds of the earth’s biological productivity, which ultimately will determine its human carrying capacity.” This applies on several levels when we think of harvest in the definition of taking. Brown would benefit from Heifetz advice to lead with an open heart in realizing that change with tough questions is uncomfortable. Care needs to be taken not to defend ones position at the expense of missing opportunities to merge, expand and progress together. In contrast Heifetz may benefit from the realities that so many understand, naively as the norm.

Asking emotional beings to step out of their comfort zone needs to be done with care and concern for their feelings. One’s authoritative knowledge is Another’s naivety. Take them with open arms and accept the opportunities to bridge the gap. Make the transition a happy well built journey the strength of that bridge will stand for many generations and make way for many generations to pass over on their own journey. I particularly feel the following quote fits this topic, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”

Justin Nadeau, MBA Candidate 2013

Brown, Lester R. (2009-09-25). Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Heifetz, R., & Linsky, M.  (2002).  Leading with an open heart.  Leader to Leader, (26), 28-33.


One Response to Heifetz and Brown

  1. pchandler725 says:

    Expanding our comfort zones is an interesting idea. How do we work within the comfort zone but also push the limits. I think you’ve tapped into a critical idea that has not been explored. We build from our strengths instead of our weaknesses. Brown and Heifetz would clearly challenge us to find the limits and opportunities of our strengths.

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